Once inside and talking about the hideous and sagging framing, my client asked me, "Is the garage original to the house?"
Built in 1955, it was obvious that the roof was original as it tied into the main house roof framing and was exactly the same.
But the garage had a different "ceiling" if you can call it that and side walls.
I suspected that given what I saw the house originally had a carport, which at some point they closed in, creating the "garage." But then they closed that in too, and the garage door looked like it had not been used since the 60s!
Looking at the base of the exterior corner it looked to me like they put the wall directly onto the ground!
In some places I could clearly see the edge of the slab.
And the sill plate, the bottom of the framed wall, was resting on the soil right beside it.
All over it has rotten away, was full of termites, sinking into the ground (causing the "garage" walls to look sunken and sagged here and there) and very cute.
Is the garage original? No way.
They had been using the "garage" also as a "laundry"room, with the dryer apparently venting directly inside and the washing machine likely discharging its gray water under the house! I could see no way it could attach anywhere into the plumbing inside the house!
This house has the crawl space I could not get into, so my drain diagnosis is based on experience and looking at the plumbing inside the house. I didn't actually confirm this drainage fact. But I'm pretty sure!
So, more fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the short sale away!
I have been doing this long enough to say, with a steely voice, that I am no longer surprised.
Well, I was surprised by this one! We home inspectors will never see it all!
My recommendation: short sales are often good buys, and attractive to investors. But don't think that since someone has been living in it (in this case there were renters until very recently) that it has been taken care of or is in decent condition. ALWAYS get that home inspection!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560